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My opinion about this marking has changed somewhat since writing HWIS. On pp. 320-321, I stated that I did not think these Ma. markings were from the Schupo of the Marienwerder district because the existence of sear and mag safeties on them indicated they remained in police service through the mid-1930s. I felt that, if they had been Schupo weapons, the markings would have been updated to conform to the 1922 and 1932 marking instructions for this district, S.Ma. and S.Wpr., respectively.

However, as noted on pp. 165-167 of HWIS, there was a significant downsizing of the Schupo presence in this district during the 1920s. I now think it is probable that the Ma. markings were applied, perhaps provisionally, to Schupo Lugers prior to the issue of the April 1922 Schupo marking instructions (i.e., Type 1 markings). While it would have been easy to simply prefix these markings with S., to fully conform to the 1922 instructions, the entire marking would have had to have been reversed. This apparently was not done. Perhaps it was because of the organizational flux of the Schupo in this district at the time. These guns may have belonged to Schupo commands that were eliminated during the early 1920s and were therefore surplus.

Clearly the guns remained in the possession of the police somewhere in Prussia. The sear and mag safeties prove this. Perhaps they were stored for some period of time, fitted with sear and mag safeties in the 1930s and issued to police forces (Gemeindepolizei?) that did not re-mark them. If they were reissued after 1936, they would not have been re-marked as police marking had been terminated.

While there is no proof of this hypothesis, it "feels" better to me than attributing the marking to some large, hitherto unidentified, police force in the Marienwerder district.
 

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I don't think that police concentration ratio is particularly useful in this case. There is considerable evidence that the police concentrations on the new borders with Poland were significantly higher than average, particularly during the early 1920s.
 

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New and improved interpretation of Ma.

Thanks to an email and photos from George Wheeler (SCHUPO), I have yet another interpretation of the Ma. markings discussed above and in HWIS. I now believe with considerable confidence that they are from the Weimar police of the state of Baden and that Ma. is an abbreviation for Mannheim. If correct, these are the first markings I have been able to identify as belonging to the Baden police (HWIS Chapter 16).

George has a police Seitengewehr (sidearm) from Baden with the marking Ma.236. on the reverse crossguard. Several of his photos are reproduced below with his permission. This weapon is definitely from Baden since it has a style unique to the police of Baden. See George's book Seitengewehr: History of the German Bayonet 1919-1945, pp. 134-6. The hilt fittings are brass, which may indicate it was issued to Gemeindepolizei or Gendarmerie units.

I have compared the font style of the Seitengewehr marking with photos of similar markings on Lugers, including the two listed earlier in this thread. The styles are identical and differ from the style and orientation of S.Ma. markings on Prussian Schupo pistols. This virtually assures they are from the same unit.

George's Seitengewehr also has an R stamped on the reverse guard as well as ENE stamped on the obverse of the guard. These markings are still unidentified.

The Baden id is more satisfying than the Marienwerder theory since it does not require an assumption that perfectly usable Lugers were sitting somewhere in storage while money was being spent to buy new ones.
 

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Don,

I was glad to be of help. I will point out that this Badische Polizei Seitengewehr is shown in wear (if you look closely) on page 250 of Don's excellent book. The Baden Police are the only police agency to wear this particular style of edged weapon.

Here are a couple of photos of the entire Badische Polizei Seitengewehre. They came in two sizes with the larger one being an item of issue and the smaller one being private purchase (Extrawaffen). The nickel ones are believed to have been used by municipal police but there seems to be no Schutzpolizei or Gendarmerie designators on the sidearms. These are identified in the WKC catalog as (large) Badisches Polizei-Seitengewehr Nr.824 and (small) Dasselbe in leichter Ausführuhg Nr.832

George
 

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